Sunday, September 29

Football & Beef & Spicy Chorizo Zucchini Chili

I love fall here in southern Arizona. This is only my second fall but I am loving every single little second. Its like summer everywhere else. I know 90-97 degrees sounds hot but really this is very comfortable weather. Speaking of fall.... I can't celebrate fall without football and can't have football without chili. It is a tradition. Just incase you aren't a football fan.... (we'll have to talk about that later) there are other reasons to heat up a large pot full of meat and beans and some veg (aka chili). 

Here's recipe #7 of my personal goal of doing 30 new Rachael Ray recipes in 30 days. The original recipe can be found in the October 2012 issue of Everyday

Reasons to make chili: 
1. one pot of chili can feed like 30 people
2. it travels well (friend's houses,camping, potlucks,hiking)
3. it freezes well (good if you have a small family)
4. it reheats well (see reasons 2 & 3)
5. it is a great make ahead meal (see reason #4) 
6. the toppings you can put on chili and it still taste good are endless (chips, fresh tomatoes, onions, chopped green onion, caramelized onions, diced red onion, jalapeƱos, sour cream, greek yogurt, cilantro, chives, Oyster-style/saltine crackers, cornbread croutons, fresh chopped peppers, black olives, sliced avocados, guacamole, shredded jack cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded sharp white, yellow cheddar.... etc.
7. Melted Cheese - you can load chili up with cheese - any dish that lets you have tons of melted cheese is a good recipe
8. Healthy - chili is a great place to get veggies into your diet if you aren't fond of them.

But in the end it does come back to football. It's like Fiddler on the Roof. Do you know that movie? My husband and I quote it often. It's how we roll. There is a whole song about tradition. It's good you could youtube it or something if you haven't ever heard it. So make some chili, sit back, and relax a bit. Just incase you are wondering the game I was most excited about was the Texans vs Seahawks game, and it did not disappoint! Crazy over time game. 

Spicy Beef & Chorizo Zucchini Chili

1 Tbs vegetable oil
12 oz mexican beef chorizo
1&1/2 lb lean ground beef
2 heaping cups of zucchini, sliced
Tbs vegetable oil
1 Tbs minced garlic, 2 cloves
1/4 cup chili powder, mild
1 Tbs course salt
1 tsp pepper
1 heaping Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs dried mexican oregano, or regular
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 can low sodium red kidney beans, drained
1 can (14.5) crushed tomatoes 
1 can (14.5) fire roasted tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 small can of tomato sauce (I substituted 2 cups of my veggie filled red sauce from my freezer)
(click here for recipe)
toppings: I used green onion, cheddar cheese, and chips

Start cooking beef and chorizo with oil in a very large pan. 
Drain some of the fat out once all the beef is browned. 
Add in everything else except for beans. 
Simmer the flavors together for 40 minutes.
Add in the beans. Remove from heat.  
If using as a make-ahead meal, cover and refrigerate. 
If freezing, cool it completely and measure it into food safe plastic labeled freezer bags. 
If eating immediately..... pull out some of the yummy toppings listed above, and invite some friends over for the game ;)

Enjoy. Go seahawks! 
From my football kitchen to yours

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